The State Minister for Investment and Privatization in the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Evelyn Anite visited Kampala Industrial and Business Park (KIBP) on a Thursday 18th/08/2016 for a fact finding mission to serve as a background of getting solutions to the problems at the park. According to her, the major challenge cited was infrastructural development. “Although we already have a seemingly good road network which is murrum, we want to work on constructing a tarmac road, build a sewerage plant and provide high grade electricity to make KIBP a first class industrial park.” She said
She was impressed to find that even without the first class infrastructural development; there was already activity on the ground. Different factories at the different phases of development and are employing 11000 Ugandans in one park. She added that it is a good start for government even without the entire infrastructure in place.
Government’s anticipation is to employ 1 million Ugandans through industrial development all over the country. The Minister informed the press present that all this was aggregated by UIA and will cost government 500b. Hon Anite called upon fellow government agencies including National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited, (UEDCL) and Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to work hand in hand with UIA to provide the required basics for the development of the 22 planned industrial and business parks.
During this fact finding mission, Mr. Lawrencre Byensi, UIA Director for Investment Facilitation and Aftercare informed the Minister that 280 licensed investors that were allocated land in the industrial park applied for it at different time. “When companies are allocated land, it comes with terms; the UIA Board of Directors currently approved a performance bond equivalent to 10% of the value of the land leased to an investor. This means that if you sign a lease you have a period of 18 months to start construction.” He said. He added that 122 companies are in the construction phase and employing Ugandans.
The UIA Director, Lands Development Division, Mr. Hamza Galiwango explained that the new performance bond policy is an effective measure that will encourage investors to get on ground and start operation. He added that it has already affected 27 investors in the last 27 months. “In 2009, the board allocated land to 277 companies, many of these companies did not commence development and this resulted into 80 of them losing their land in 2013. At that point, the board introduced a 10% performance bond to guard against speculation.” He said. There are companies that were given land in 2014 and 27 of them have already lost it to other prospective investors.
According to the UIA database, 150 companies have not commenced development citing different excuses like lack of infrastructure, water and power. However minimal the infrastructure is, some companies have already set off e.g. Steel and Tube, Kyagalanyi Coffee and many others. We believe that the little resources available can enable the investor to start operating. 50 companies were issued notices giving them a period of 2 months to take possession on ground or else the land will be withdrawn and given to other prospective investors.
Hon. Anite encouraged Ugandan farmers to increase their productivity. For instance she said they could grow more rice and supply rice processing plants and reduce on rice imports from the neighboring countries. She based on a direct example of one company in the park that imports raw material from Tanzania and Pakistan. “Let’s all as Ugandans encourage our local farmers to produce and send to the willing buyers of rice in KIBP. Backward linkage of farmers to industrialists worked so well with coffee; let’s do the same with rice and stop turning our country into a supermarket.” She said
Eng. Tobias Karekaho, the UIA Board Chairman reminded officials that Uganda is blessed with fertile soils and a good climate and that’s reason enough to encourage rice growing and supply the industries.
During this fact finding mission, we have seen that it is really genuine to build basic infrastructure and provide high grade power in the industrial park to aid our investors develop their projects .Hon. Evelyn Anite in her final remarks informed the present officials that when KIBP is fully operational, 200,000 Ugandans will be employed.